The Liberated Mathematician Stands Up to Gender and Race Inequality in Academia

This week, Dr. Piper Harron, mathematics professor based at the University of Hawaii, and a vocal feminist and supporter of under-represented groups in the academic mathematics community, published a provocative blogpost on the website of the AMS (American Mathematical Society), in which she points out some of the glaring gender and race inequalities in academia. What do you think happens, when a Black female professor at a 21st century university mentions some of her criticisms of gender inequality? You guessed it. Over the last days, her article has stirred a hurricane of angry backlash – not only from mathematicians but also from wider sources. Piper Harron continues to receive a lot of harrasment from alt-right media and trolls.

“Remember that you live in a world where people don’t succeed in a vacuum; most success happens on the backs of others who did not consent. You have no idea how successful you would have been if you were still you, but with an additional marginalization (not white, or not male, or not cis gender, or with a disability, etc).

“What can we do? When every role model, when every concept you have, is steeped in sexism, what can you do?”

(read the full blogpost here)

Fight back and support others who do! Sociologists: support mathematicians in their struggle for equality in science!

You can read more of Piper Harron’s work on her awesome blog, The Liberated Mathematician

Categories: Fragile Movements, Higher Education, Interdisciplinarity, Matters Mathematical, Rethinking The World, Social Media for Academics, Sociology of Education

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1 reply »

  1. While I admit there are issues with the demographics in mathematics the reason for the backlash was because of the ‘solution’ she presents. Her solution is white cis gendered males giving up their positions and offers no actual solution to what they should do after the fact. Also she completely throws out the concept of meritocracy and is a racist, and sexist herself. Stating that even if the white candidate was more qualified they should still hire the other person because they’re black and not male.

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